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Early Transportation Bay
Buggy

Early Transportation Bay

This room looks at some of the early modes of travel in Logan County. The Shawver-Shick covered wagon brought the family to Logan County in the 1840s. The wagon is packed like it may have been when it was used. The undercarriage is original. The box of the wagon was built by Bill Davis and his FFA students at Benjamin Logan High School. The room also details the carriage and buggy manufacturing history in Logan County. Other items of interest include:

 

  • Buggy built by the Kingsbury & Crockett Co. in Bellefontaine

  • Road cart built by the JoHangten Carriage Co.

  • Sidesaddle ridden from New Jersey on the journey to Ohio

 

This room is dedicated in honor of Citizens Federal Savings & Loan Association for its generous donation towards the Logan County Transportation Museum.

Railroad Bay
Railroad Bay

Railroad Bay

No aspect of Logan County history is more important to the area than the railroad. The first railroad came through the county in 1847. The railroad grew greatly after the Civil War, and from the 1890s through the 1950s it was the county’s major employer. The Big Four Railroad (CCC & St. L) had one of its largest roundhouses or repair shops between New York and St. Louis in Bellefontaine. During its heyday more than 100 trains passed through Logan County daily.

 

Items of note:

  • Shop whistle from the Big Four shops

  • Seat from an Ohio Electric interurban car

  • Telegrapher’s desk

  • YMCA call board, invented by John Mellen from Bellefontaine, to post employees assignments

  • Railroad Speeder or Work Car

 

This room is dedicated in honor of the Berry Family Foundation for its generous donation towards the Logan County Transportation Museum.

A J Miller Bay
Cadillac Hearse

A J Miller Bay

This room chronicles the history of A J Miller, a prominent local manufacturer of carriages & later motor vehicles such as ambulances and hearses. The AJ Miller Co. became a world-renowned hearse and carriage builder in the first half of the 20th century. Car chassis from Nash, Buick, Cadillac and others were brought to the factory where employees converted them into hearses, ambulances, hearse/ambulance combinations, flower cars, tour buses and other specialty vehicles. The AJ Miller Co. operated in Bellefontaine until 1960, four years after it merged with the Meteor Company in Piqua.

 

Items of interest:

  • 1947 AJ Miller Cadillac Hearse/Ambulance combination

  • Unicycles made at the Miller factory

  • Blueprints of a tour bus designed for AJ Miller by Bill Harrold

 

This room is dedicated in honor of the Donald J. Gumpert Estate for its generous donation.

Rotating Exhibit Bay
Fire Truck

Rotating Exhibit Bay

The theme for this bay may rotate every few years or so. The current exhibit features fire equipment and photos of many of the devastating fires which have occurred in Logan County over the years.

 

Featured items include:

  • 1921 Ahrens fire truck used by the West Liberty Fire Department

  • Ladder wagon built by the AJ Miller Co., used by and on loan from the Zanesfield Fire Department

  • Firefighter’s uniform from the Bellefontaine Fire Department

 

This room is dedicated in honor of the Rowena Reames Estate for its generous donation towards the Logan County Transportation Museum.

Modern Transportation Bay
Modern Transportation

Modern Transportation Bay

This bay shows the depth of the transportation industry in Logan County’s recent history, present, and future. The exhibit features information on industries located in the area that make parts for automobiles and supply Honda and other car manufacturers. The room also details the presence of the Transportation Research Center (TRC) in East Liberty. This facility, which opened in the 1970s, contains numerous areas for testing cars, trucks, buses, experimental cars and other vehicles for a variety of factors from handling to brakes to suspensions to emissions to crash safety. Although the property is owned by Honda and TRC leases it from Honda, TRC is an independent entity. Nearly all automobile makers in the world use the facility.

 

This room is dedicated in honor of the Transportation Research Center for its generous donation towards the Logan County Transportation Museum.

Outside Caboose Exhibit
Caboose

Outside Caboose Exhibit

The Logan County Transportation Museum has a caboose set up in the back of the building. For many years the caboose was used as the Dutch Mill Drive-In located on US 33 near Zanesfield. The Historical Society received it in 1994 and had it moved to the Logan County Fairgrounds with help of railroad employees and retirees led by Wayne Linkinhoker. The caboose was repainted as a New York Central caboose and opened during the fair for people to walk through. In April 2014, the caboose was moved from the fairgrounds to the Logan County Transportation Museum, again led by Mr. Linkinhoker. A full list of the men and women who helped with the second move can be seen in the Atrium. The caboose will be restored as a New York Central caboose and will be open to museum visitors in the near future.

Entry
Transportation Museum Entry

Entry

Hanging in the entry is a replica of Bellefontaine native Clarence Wissler’s 1920s Pusher Monoplane. Restoration of the plane was started in the 1980’s by the Historical Aviation Organization of Logan County. When the organization disbanded, they donated the plane to the Logan County History Center. Volunteers, led by Dwight Hansen, restored/completed the plane. More information on Wissler and Aviation history in Logan County can be found on the atrium’s south wall.

 

The entryway is dedicated in honor of Bonnie & Dwight Hansen for their generous donation towards the Logan County Transportation Museum. Mr. & Mrs. Hansen dedicated it to the early aviation history of Logan County.

The entry also features a square of bricks from the original Bellefontaine Roundhouse. The bricks used for the Transportation Museum were a close match and the reason the building is red brick and not yellow brick like the Mansion and Museum.

The Historical Society dedicated a time capsule at the official dedication of the Transportation Museum on April 27, 2014. The time capsule is to be opened exactly 100 years after the dedication on April 27, 2114.

 

The Donor Board & Dedication Board acknowledge those who helped with the Transportation Museum project.

Connector
Connector

Connector

This room features information about Honda of America including its East Liberty Auto Plant in eastern Logan County, Honda Transmissions Manufacturing Inc. at Indian Lake, and some of its other sites around the area.

Items of interest:

  • Cut-a-way transmission from HTM

  • Handprints of Mr. Honda from the opening of the East Liberty plant in 1989

  • Japanese wedding kimono donated by Mrs. Kashiwa Kudo “in appreciation of the hospitality and friendship of the community over the past 6 1/2 years.” (11-27-91). The display case was donated by the International Friendship Center in memory of the Kawaguchi family (6-12-94.)

This room is dedicated in honor of Honda Transmissions Manufacturing, Inc. for its generous donation towards the Logan County Transportation Museum.

Oldest, Highest, Shortest Exhibit

Bellefontaine holds the distinction of having the oldest concrete street in America (Court Avenue), the highest point in Ohio (Campbell Hill), and the shortest street in America (McKinley Street).

Items of Interest:

  • Piece of concrete from Court Avenue embedded in the museum floor and a sign that hung downtown denoting the Oldest Concrete Street.

  • Uniform worn at the 664th A.C. & W. air base at Campbell Hill

Honda Room
Honda Room

Honda Room

The Honda Room currently exhibits various motorcycles and cars made at the Honda plant in Marysville. Although located in Union County, many Logan Countians have worked at the Honda plant. The vehicles are on loan from Honda of America and will be part of a rotating exhibit.

 

This room is dedicated in honor of Karen Beasley of Beasley Architecture & Design for her generous donation towards the Logan County Transportation Museum.

The Atrium
Transportation Museum Atrium

The Atrium

The exhibits in the Atrium will be changed over time.

The exhibits currently include:

  • Aviation exhibit highlighting local airplane builder Clarence Wissler and local airplane engine designer Larence Rausenberger. Wissler’s restored WA-6 hangs from the center ring of the atrium.

  • Reproduction of the New York Central Schedule Board that hung in the Bellefontaine Depot in the late 1940s-1950s. The benches are reproductions of the type generally found in railroad depots (including Bellefontaine’s), and were built by Ray Stamm and long-time LCHS member, David Wagner.

  • The Zent/Bellefontaine Automobile Co. built two automobiles in Bellefontaine in the early 1900s – The Zent and The Traveler. The Traveler actually won several awards, but the company could not compete with the larger companies and soon folded.

  • Airplane engine built by Larence Rausenberger

  • The Bellefontaine Bridge & Iron Co. plaque. The Company built bridges throughout Ohio and the Midwest and later became Carter Steel.

  • Logan County Railroad Depot exhibit includes a map showing the various rail lines that came through Logan County and photographs of the depots that once stood in the county. Unfortunately, very few of the depots remain. The West Liberty depot was moved and is now part of Marie’s Candies. The Belle Center depot has been restored and is now a community building for the village.

 

The Atrium is dedicated in honor of Honda of America, Inc. for its generous donation towards the Logan County Transportation Museum.

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